Thursday, October 16, 2014

Looking Up

Thankful! There have been so many gracious moments of deep joy and great delight along my path in this most wonder-filled of months, this golden and crimson and glorious October. The season has never yet failed to call forth in me profound joy and profuse gratitude. The simple pleasure of walking through autumnal woods is a gift I've had the privilege of unwrapping over and over again this year, and it has unquestionably enhanced every aspect of my life. My perspective shifts, my spirit soars, my physical self is refreshed...

But lying just below the surface, sometimes alleviated but never quite lifting, is an elusive heaviness... Bogged down...that's the best way I can describe this stuck-in-thick-mud, unable-to-move-forward, overwhelmed-by-too-many-details feeling. I've been fighting it, refusing to acknowledge it - it seems a crime against gratitude to express such a sentiment in the face of so much for which to give thanks. But God, of all people, called me on it yesterday - smack-dab in the middle of one of my wood-walks.

As I was walking along, breathing deeply of Autumn's intoxicating scent of fallen leaves, I happened to look up. Way up. And in the highest branches of a huge golden aspen poplar was perched (what I firmly believe was) an eagle. (Are there eagles in Alberta? Well, it was a huge bird with a black body and white far as I'm concerned, it was an eagle :) ) Whatever it was, it got my attention - the simple beauty of its bold outline against the gray sky, the graceful way it held its head, the marvel of being so high and free... As I stood gazing up at the wonder, it occurred to me that I haven't been doing much looking up lately. On the whole, I do a fair amount of looking up - probably more than most, just by virtue of the fact that everything is literally over my head. (Just today, I was reminding myself, in the presence of my husband, that Thursday is a shorter school day, as the kids get out an hour early. His response? "Every day's a short day for you!") I consider it a gift - we miss so much by not looking up! And I think that gratitude, which I've been deliberately incorporating into my days, is simply looking up, and recognizing the blessings that are constantly and continually being poured out into our lives.

To be truly genuine, honest, authentic, transparent - as I aspire to be, as I believe God desires - is to agree that everything in my life is allowed entry by the hand of my loving Father, and that everything He permits is for my good and His glory. The combined heaviness of all the start-up details of getting a ministry of the ground and resulting financial strain, in addition to the everyday  pains and pressures of family life (lots of pleasures interspersed, to be sure!), have been keeping me from looking up. The moment I take my eyes off of Jesus and start to focus on my problems and issues is the moment this heaviness begins to set in, stealing my joy. And since the joy of the Lord is my strength, this is something I want to start consciously avoiding. (I love how God reveals things to me one-at-a-time; He's so gracious that way! He's so patient with me as we walk this path together! How great is our God?!)

Friend, thank you so much for journeying along with me! This process is so very valuable to me - I do pray that you may receive some bit of encouragement, as well. I leave you with two verses that come to mind - be blessed!

  I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
   where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
  the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-13

1 comment:

  1. Another excellent entry dear Joy! I am so happy for you and how far you have come in this journey of everyday life. God is so good and your reminders of this with each blog post is so appreciated. Keep looking up! (to Jesus, that is.)